How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16655
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

A small business displaying operating hours: 10am - 6pm, but

This answer was rated:

A small business displaying operating hours: 10am - 6pm, but operating until midnight 7 days a week in a residential area making nose. Can operating hours be restricted?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: I have complained to the council, but they aren't very helpful. The music has gone down throughout the day, but they are still loud in the evenings and are now abusive towards me as a made complain so I'm scared to live my flat. Police has been involved but I'm not sure if I can complain somewhere for the hours to be reduced as I live on my own
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No, I have some questions around operating hours, business license and if I can do anything about it

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

The council can be pushed - if need be you can involve the Local Government Ombudsman who can force the council to act.

As to where you stand, excessive noise can be classed as a "statutory nuisance" under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 - to count as a statutory nuisance the noise has to be either :

1. unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home (which it does in your case); or

2. injure health or likely to injure health.

Given the facts in your question, I would therefore be confident in suggesting the noise you complain of is in fact a statutory nuisance - if you make a formal complaint to the council now. If they agree with you, they will serve an abatement notice on the business and the business then has to stop or restrict the noise to social hours.

If the council does not uphold the complaint, contact the Ombudsman here: https://www.lgo.org.uk

If the LGO sides with you, they will force the council to act - the council will then serve a notice on the business.

The owners of the business would be prosecuted if they disregarded the abatement notice - they can fine the owners and they can apply to the county court for an injunction (a court order to stop the light from being a problem) and if it gets to this stage it is serious for the owners as they face 2 years in prison for contempt of court if they still disregarded that court order.

The other option - consider a complaint to your local magistrates court under S.82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You would need evidence of the noise (preferably in a diary to prove the extent of the noise). If approved then the court will issue a noise abatement order. Before applying to the court you would need to send a warning letter to the neighbour (see attached template) to give them 3 clear days to stop.

If they persist, you can apply to the local magistrates court – if you contact the clerk at the court and say that you want to make a noise complaint.

Finally, send a cease and desist letter to the business - threaten them with a civil injunction unless they stop.

A template “cease and desist” letter is available at this site : https://www.lawdepot.co.uk

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter. You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 14 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy.

I hope this helps

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim


Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JimLawyer.

Thanks again,

Jim



JimLawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Jim, Thank you so much for your answer. Also, I'm confused about the operating hours. I'm aware that small businesses can be open 7 days a week for 24h. I can't find any restrictions in terms of what hours they can be opened. However, they are displaying standard oeratinghours. Do I have any legal right to object to their operating hours? Also, can I see a copy of their business operating license under the Freedom of Information Act or other law? As they are noisy and abusive I find it hard with them being here all the time as they are 6 young men and that is very intimidating.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
JimLawyer Hi Jim, Thank you so much for your answer. Also, I'm confused about the operating hours. I'm aware that small businesses can be open 7 days a week for 24h. I can't find any restrictions in terms of what hours they can be opened. However, they are displaying standard oeratinghours. Do I have any legal right to object to their operating hours? Also, can I see a copy of their business operating license under the Freedom of Information Act or other law? As they are noisy and abusive I find it hard with them being here all the time as they are 6 young men and that is very intimidating.
the noise should be during social hours otherwise the law means you can try to stop it as it is then a "nuisance" to neighbours. You could ask for a copy of that, yes. The council may give you a copy if you ask too.